Trump’s apprenticeship message to young adults: “There is dignity in every honest job”

By Kathryn Hickok

President Donald Trump stressed the dignity of work in a speech June 16 promoting his Apprenticeship Initiative for young workers. “Today, this is the message I want every young American to hear: there is dignity in every honest job, and there is nobility in every honest worker,” Trump said.

This is a timely message. According to a recent report by the American Enterprise Institute, the workforce participation rate for men 25-54 has dropped from 96% in 1967 to about 88% in 2016, an all-time low. Young men, especially with less education, are increasingly opting out of the workforce, and not just due to a weak economy. Other causes of unemployment among men include “a lack of postsecondary education, dependence on benefit programs, opioid dependency, the rising prevalence of criminal records, a lack of available jobs in economically distressed areas, and weakening cultural norms [that expect able-bodied men to be working].”

Public policies and government regulations should make it easier—not harder—for young people to develop marketable skills and experience. When young adults at the point of entry to work lose the belief that earning a paycheck is better than the ease of drawing a benefit check, the human cost is significant. Renewing a moral sense of the value of labor can refocus policy makers onto solutions promoting gainful employment, the pride of accomplishment, and financial self-sufficiency over dependence on government programs.

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director and Director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon program at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Granola girl

    As a high school student mentor, i can tell you that there are plenty of young men and women who will benefit greatly from an apprenticeship program. These particular kids have no interest in attending college. By participating in a program, they can come out of it making $60K + a year before their peers complete college. Our workforce in the trades is getting to the critical point, most are retiring, or set to retire in a few years. The kids need to be trained by experienced people, the time to act is now!!

  • Dick Winningstad

    What a novel idea. Train the young to make things instead of being lawyers or social workers (Not insulting science and engineering students here!). Perhaps this and more relaxed regulations will encourage this country to move back toward a manufacturing economy from a services economy.

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)